Isaiah 26:1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.

2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.

3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.

6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.

7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.

8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.

9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.

11 LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.

12 LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

MEMORY VERSE: O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.

—Isaiah 26:13

CENTRAL THOUGHT: A song encouraging confidence, trust and waiting upon God.


Isaiah 26:1 “In that day”: the gospel day; the times of the Messiah, when He should establish His church, the New Jerusalem. “Salvation”: deliverance; prosperity; victory. “Walls and bulwarks”: the walls and ramparts, or trenches, around a city, which point to the protection and stability of the city of God, the New Jerusalem. “The prophet could not have had reference in these prophecies to the walls of literal Jerusalem. But since, in the New Testament spiritual Jerusalem, salvation from sin is obtained and men within her walls are kept pure in God’s sight, her walls must be the very fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies” (W. G. Schell in Biblical Trace of the Church).

Isaiah 26:2 “Gates”: entrances; doors. “This signifies the abundant entrance into the church of God. As the city is a spiritual city, the walls are spiritual walls and the gates spiritual gates, and they signify that men from every condition in life can be redeemed and enter directly into the spiritual house of God in the new Jerusalem. These gates, we are told, shall not be shut at all by day, and we are told that there shall be no night in this city” (W. G. Schell in Biblical Trace of the Church). “The righteous nation that keepeth the truth”: “The converted Gentiles shall have the gates opened—a full entrance into all the glories and privileges of the Gospel; being fellow heirs with the converted Jews” (Clarke’s Commentary). “A people, made up of all kindreds and nations and tongues, which should henceforth be ‘the people of God.’ They are ‘righteous,’ as washed clean from all taint of sin in the blood of the Lamb. They ‘keep the truth,’ or ‘keep faithfulness,’ as under all circumstances clinging loyally to God” (Pulpit Commentary).

Isaiah 26:3 “Keep”: guard, as with a garrison. “Perfect peace”: “’Peace, peace;’ the repetition of the word denoting, as is usual in Hebrew, emphasis, and here evidently meaning undisturbed, perfect peace” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible). “Whose mind”: ”The Hebrew does not probably mean ‘mind,’ but ‘a thing formed’ (Ephesians 2:10), so constantly ‘supported’; or else ‘formed and supported’ (by Thee) Thou shalt preserve (it, namely, the righteous nation) in perpetual peace” (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary). “A steadfast disposition thou guardest in constant peace, for it is trustful towards thee” (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges). “Is stayed”: to prop; to lean; bear up; sustain.

Isaiah 26:4 “Everlasting strength”: tsur olamim (Hebrew) “The rock of ages.” The eternal fountain, source, or spring.


This song and the one in the previous chapter are inspired praises, not only for God’s judgments on Israel’s literal enemies, but prophetic utterances looking forward into the kingdom of the Messiah. I found the various commentaries agreeing pretty well on that point, but most of them applied the prophecies to a future age.

We have been blessed by an inspired ministry who have taught the fulfillment of these prophecies as being in the kingdom we have now, in the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, Zion, the church of God. Jesus built it; the light of it shone brightly in the morning age; papal apostasy darkened it; the cloudy day of Protestantism brought mingled light; and the evening time brought a fullness of light. The commentators agreed that God’s church would be triumphant—at the end of time. We are blessed to know assuredly that His church is triumphant now.

The lofty city laid low by the poor and needy may be applied then, to the jubilant throng rejoicing over fallen, literal Babylon or a “mystical” Babylon, “representative of the stronghold of the foes of God’s people in all ages,” as say the commentators; they are right, but they all stop short of a definite vision of God’s church, here and now. Thank the Lord, His people do triumph over Babylon, false religion, and stand on the sea of glass, His truth, singing the song of Moses and the Lamb.

Again, the theme of God’s eternal judgments, His truth, the Everlasting Rock, shines brightly in Isaiah’s song. It is God’s truth, preached and lived in the earth, that will cause its inhabitants to learn righteousness. A warning is given amidst the praise, that favor shown to the wicked will not result in them learning righteousness. Let us value God’s judgments and learn how to administer them “rightly” as we deal with the world around us.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. Of what “day” does Isaiah speak?
  2. Share other scriptures which speak of Zion’s gates and walls.
  3. Share the meanings of “keep” and “stayed” in verse three.
  4. Share your thoughts about “the lofty city.”
  5. What will cause the earth to “learn righteousness,” and what will cause the wicked to not learn righteousness?


This song was a great blessing and comfort to our family in a recent affliction. As we gathered for family worship, the positive declaration, “We have a strong city” made us rejoice as we thought of God’s church, the people whom He has redeemed, of which we are a part. It is such a precious family! The prayer support of God’s people in times of trouble is indeed like an armed fortress and refuge; like a strong battalion of armed soldiers, poised to do battle.

“Salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks”—this inspired our faith as we considered the deliverance that surrounded us, through which no foe could touch us. God’s Word and promises were a hedge and shield for us.

“Thou wilt keep him.” We had a strong sense of being kept—secure, contented, even serene—amid constant danger.

“In the LORD Jehovah is everlasting strength.” As far back as we could go down the paths of memory, we knew saints who had trusted in God and He had not failed them; in our own lives, we could recall time after time God had delivered us. We knew we were being sheltered in something everlasting.

“The foot shall tread them down…even…the poor…and needy.” Whatever foe presented itself—pain, fear, doubt, worry, even death itself—whatever lifted itself up against us and against our Lord, even our poor, weak, weary foot could trample it. With God, you just can’t lose! When you don’t even have the strength, He just fights for you. This is what this song meant to us. Praise His wonderful name!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord to Thee;

Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love .

Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee;

Take my voice, and let me sing aways, only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee;

Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold.

Take my moments and my days; let them flow in endless praise.

Take my intellect and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure-store.

Take myself and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

Born in 1836, Frances Ridley Havergal began reading and memorizing the Bible at the age of four and eventually memorized the Psalms, Isaiah and most of the New Testament. She was a well educated and beautiful young woman. She was also a talented singer and pianist and was in demand as a concert soloist. However, she maintained a simple faith and confidence in her Lord and never wrote a line of song or poetry without praying over it.

In February 1874, Frances went to visit a household of about ten people. Some were unsaved and others were professing Christians, though not joyful Christians. She had such a burden for the people and prayed, “Lord, give me all in this house!” And the Lord did. Before she left, everyone in the household had received a blessing. The last night of her visit found her too joyful to sleep so she spent the night in praise and renewed consecration. As she was communing with the Lord, little couplets kept ringing in her heart till the final stanza, “Ever, only, ALL for Thee”! This was the night that she wrote the hymn, “Take My Life and Let It Be.”

About four years later, she felt a call to act on the verse of the hymn she had written, “Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.” At this time, she owned about fifty pieces of jewelry, as well as a fine jewelry cabinet. She decided to send it all to the Christian Missionary House so that they could dispose of it. Her report was, ” I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”

She was of poor health and as years went by, her health became broken. They say she wore herself out ministering to others. While many tried to sympathize for her in her last days of suffering, she would whisper, “Never mind! It’s home the faster! God’s will is delicious; He makes no mistakes.” Her life personified the beautiful hymn she wrote: “Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in endless praise.”

—Sis. LaDawna Adams

Click here to listen to “Take My Life and Let It Be” sung by a group of young saints. It is #239 in the Evening Light Songs.